The surprising announcement yesterday by Warner Bros. that they’ve decided to move Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth installment of the popular and lucrative series, to 2009 to help fill their summer roster has sparked a lot of debate and speculation over the last 24 hours. Undaunted by any of it, Summit Entertainment announced today that they will move their anticipated adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s teen romance novel Twilight into the slot vacated by “Half-Blood Prince,” upping the release date from the movie’s original December 12 opening to November 21, the week before Thanksgiving. It will now be going up against Disney’s animated movie Bolt which itself moved into the slot yesterday after Warner Bros.’ decision.
Summit Entertainment said, “The new release date for ‘Twilight’ allows the studio to both bring the film to the written-series’ enormous fan base sooner, and to present the film in more theatres prior to the holiday movie-going season where traditionally screen time for any popular film is limited.”
“When Warner Bros. decided to move ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ to the summer of 2009, we saw a unique opportunity to slot in our film which has been gaining tremendous awareness and momentum over the past several months,” said Rob Friedman, Co-Chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment. “We by no means are trying to fill the shoes of the incredible ‘Potter’ franchise for 2008, rather we are just looking to bring the fans of Stephenie Meyer’s incredible book series the film as soon possible from a programming perspective.”
Starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in the thriller-romance, the film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke from a script by Melissa Rosenberg (Step Up). Karen Rosenfelt (The Devil Wears Prada), Greg Mooradian and Wyck Godfrey will produce along with Mark Morgan via his Maverick Films banner.
Twilight tells the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan (Stewart) who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, and becomes drawn to Edward Cullen (Pattinson), a pale, mysterious classmate who seems determined to push her away. But neither can deny the attraction that pulls them together … even when Edward confides that he and his family are vampires. Their unorthodox romance puts her in physical danger when Edward’s nemesis comes to town and sets his sights on Bella.